This article is about the benefits of flexibility training. This kind of training is often taken for granted by many, especially those who rush into cardiovascular exercises and weight-training. These individuals may encounter injuries that can hamper their fitness program simply because they failed to engage in flexibility training.
Individuals who wants to stay fit and healthy have been incorporating physical activities like cardiovascular training and weightlifting into their fitness routines, almost making exercise the center of their lifestyle. Their aim and main goal is to improve their physique or level of physical fitness that they have forgotten the importance of flexibility training. This kind of training is probably one of the most underrated and undervalued component of conditioning and physical fitness.
Flexibility training increases the body’s range of motion. With flexibility, a person’s athletic performance is enhanced, and the risk of injuries greatly reduced. Stretching also speeds up metabolism.
Flexibility training helps lengthen the muscle fibers, facilitating ease of movement, while improving muscle recovery and strength. Flexibility training may also reduce muscle aches, lower back pain, improve coordination and posture, and ease stress and anxiety in one’s life. In addition to these health benefits, various medical studies suggest that regular stretching helps the body’s internal organs to function optimally due of improved blood flow.
However, the benefits of flexibility can only be enjoyed if proper training is done. Individuals who fail to perform proper flexibility training may develop injuries and hamper their workout goals. People who want to engage in flexibility training should include the following into their workout routines:
Before stretching, you should remember to perform a few warm-up exercises. These exercises will loosen up the muscles, improve blood flow, and prepare you for flexibility training.
Do not bounce (ballistic stretching) when performing static stretches. Medical experts suggest that ballistic stretching may cause immediate and residual pain. In the long run, it can lead to serious muscle damage.
Try to hold a pose for at least 15-30 seconds to achieve long-term flexibility benefits.
Perform flexibility and cool down exercises after workout to return the muscles to their resting stage.
Stretch gradually. Stretch only to the point where mild muscle tension is felt. If there is pain, then you might be doing it wrong. Move into each pose gradually and perform controlled breathing while doing it.
Warming up is a crucial part of a flexibility program. A good flexibility program works best if a good warm-up session of about five to ten minutes of brisk walking or jogging is done before starting. This is done because stretching cold muscles may lead to pulled or torn muscles. Health experts believe that the possibility of getting injured may decrease if the tendons and muscles are more conditioned.
Warm-up exercises may also bring the following health benefits:
Increase your heart-rate and respiration
Boost the amount of nutrients and oxygen delivered to the muscles
Prepare the body for a more strenuous workout
Make it easier to burn more calories
Extend one’s workout routine
A well-planned flexibility training program which includes warm-up exercises will improve fitness and overall health, regardless of age. Physical activities and workouts should not be done hastily. People who want to lose weight or improve their fitness level should remember that there are no shortcuts to physical fitness.
Proper training may prevent injuries that may hamper one’s workout program. Always consult you physician before attempting any new exercise program. Some medical conditions may prevent certain individuals from performing flexibility poses and stretches.